PYB Blog

Archive for the ‘Gadget’ Category

  1. Are Virtual Reality headsets the future of gaming?

    VR headsets or Virtual reality headsets to give them their full name have been heralded as the latest technology innovation in the gaming sphere for a couple of years. Certainly VR has been right at the top of the agenda and proclaimed as this year’s greatest innovation at the CES show in Las Vegas for the last couple of years. It didn’t really happen in 2015 but with the first orders of the Oculus Rift shifting this month and Sony PlayStation announcing further details around their VR headset, we explore whether VR really is the future

    Photo by Maurizio Pesce

    Photo by Maurizio Pesce

    What are Virtual Reality Headsets?

    Virtual reality headsets secure a display in front of your eyes (in the case of the Samsung GEAR your phone) and some kind of input which dependent on the headset make could be anything from head tracking sensors, controllers, hand tracking, voice or buttons.

    The aim of VR headsets is to completely immerse the user in a virtual world that seems so real and life like that the user forgets the computer and head gear and behaves exactly how they would as if it were real.

    Generally the way it works is feeds are sent to the display which sits inside the headset. Lenses also sit in-between the screen and your eyes. These are there to interact with the pixels on the display, focusing and reshaping the picture for the eyes making them more lifelike and 3D whilst also giving headsets their goggle like look and feel.

     

     

    The contenders, price and availability

    • The Oculus Rift is a headset that plugs into your computers USB ports and tracks your head movements to provide 3D imagery on its stereo screens. Handsets are also available to enhance your gaming experience by bringing your hands into play. The only issue being you’ll need a pretty powerful PC to run the rift.

    Priced at $599

    • The Playstation VR is scheduled for release in October 2016. Given that over 46 million PS4s are out there worldwide, a strong pre-Christmas push could really launch VR gaming to new levels

    Priced at $399

    • The HTC Vive plugs into your PC in a similar way to the Oculus Rift. Thanks to huge number of sensors (70 in total) 360 degree head tracking is possible and allows you to really immerse you in a virtual world

     Priced at $799

    • The Samsung GEAR headset is available now and offers ludicrous value when compared with the other VR headsets on the market. The release of the Samsung Galaxy S7 has attended to complaints that the S6’s battery wasn’t powerful enough to run the GEAR. The S7 seems to have readdressed the balance and beefed up the headsets capabilities. The phone plugs straight into the headset allowing you to immerse yourself in the world of VR. The only drawback is that you need a Samsung Galaxy S6 or above to use this headset.

    Priced at $99

     

    So can it change the future of gaming?

    We’re clearly not quite at the stage where you’ll be able to jump straight into a First Person Shooters (FPS) with the ability to storm a building or make a break down the left wing in a game of FIFA. However as the Bullet train FPS developed for the Rift proves we aren’t too far away. This is definitely an exciting time to be involved with VR gaming. We predict over the next couple of years major developments. The VR headsets that get released to market will only help to drive on companies to outdo each other and release the next best thing.

    The question remains whether the technology and gaming capabilities will come quick enough to match the current hype surround VR. The danger is that developments take too long, the hype ebbs away and we’ll all have moved on to the next thing.

  2. Could the LG G5 change the mobile industry forever?

    The LG G5

     

    LG have taken a bold step with their latest flagship phone, the LG G5 which is set to launch in the UK on April 8th. Amongst other new features, the phone features a modular system which allows users to plug in accessories to enhance the phone for the users various needs. Take a look below to see all the new features of the LG G5. This new feature represents something completely different and an exciting shift into what phones of the future could do. The question is will it catch on?

    Modular Design

    As mentioned the G5 will allow users to plug in various accessories into the phones magic port which can be bought as add-ons to enhance usability. At release there will be two different accessories. The camera grip will provide enhanced battery power so you don’t run low on juice if you’re being snap happy, a separate shutter button and a jog dial zoom allows you to take better photos. The second accessory is the Bang & Olufsen’s play which promises an enhanced audio experience as well as an extra jack port. These aren’t the most exciting of accessories and wouldn’t be enough for us to switch to the G5. However LG are encouraging 3rd parties to develop their own accessories so it’s certainly one to keep an eye on.

    Swap batteries

    As well as switching modular accessories out of the bottom of the phone you’ll have the ability to switch in new batteries in seconds if your current one runs out giving you enough power to take advantage of all the features the LG G5 brings to the table. This feature also sets it aside from any other big name phone on the market as this is virtually impossible in any flagship phone in 2016.

    Double Camera

    Ever been in an absolutely spectacular location and not been able to quite capture what you see on camera? Well the new double camera on the back of the phone begins to address the problem.  When engaged the extra lens gives users the ability to take photos up to a 135 degree angle which is wider than the human eye although in use the camera quality will drop to 8 MP. However if you’re looking for a higher quality of photo the single camera takes photos at 16 MP.

    Always On Screen

    The LG G5 will feature an always on screen. You may think this will drain battery dramatically however the guys at LG think it will actually save you battery as you won’t have to constantly flick your phone on to check the time. The screen will display notifications from Gmail and Whatsapp which sets it aside from Samsung’s G7 always on screen which is limited in what items it displays.

    Finger Scanner on the Rear

    The LG G5 has a fingerprint scanner on the back which is different in convention from the front. The problem is that if you have your phone on your desk every day you either have to pick your phone up and unlock it or input your code. A small problem in the grand scheme of things but in a fiercely competitive market usability is everything

    Ultimately this is a seriously impressive smartphone featuring some pretty cool new wave thinking which could potentially change the way we see phones forever. However what remains to be seen is if it will take off. For the G5 to be a success it’s going to need 3rd party developers and consumers alike to embrace the concept and we’re just not sure whether that will happen given LG doesn’t have the same cult following a company like Apple has. Regardless we salute LG for breaking smartphone convention and changing it up. After all, Innovation is what got Apple where they are today.

  3. Apple iPhone SE launch

    Apple iPhone SE launch 

     

    Last night (21st March) Apple launched its latest iPhone. Perhaps not the most exciting of phone launches from the tech giant in recent memory given that there is nothing particularly new about the SE however there are many positives surrounding the iPhone SE. For a start this is Apple’s cheapest ever iPhone which is a positive. Essentially the SE has the shell of an iPhone 5S but the internal organs of the 6S. So why the move back towards a smaller phone when every year phone sizes are getting bigger? well last year Apple sold 40 million iPhone 5S’ and there clearly is still a market for a phone the size of the iPhone 5S.

    So what can you expect from the iPhone SE?

    • The SE features a 4” screen similar to that of the iPhone 5S, however the SE has the same high resolution retina screen which is featured on the 6S.
    • It’s also powered by the iPhone 6S’ A9 chip giving users more power, clearer imagery and longer battery life then the iPhone 5S.
    • The camera has also been beefed up to Apple’s impressive 12 megapixel camera, features the front facing retina flash for perfect selfies as well as the ability to video in crystal clear 4K high definition.
    • Live photos allow you to relive your snaps. Simply tap and hold the screen on your still to see it come to live with movement and hear sound moments before and after your photos were taken
    • The iPhone SE will feature Apple’s latest touch ID offering users increased security and the ability to use Apple pay.
    • The iPhone SE will be available in 4 different colours; Gold, Silver, Rose Gold and Space Grey

    When and how much?

    The SE will be available to order from Thursday (24th March) and will be available to ship from the 31st March so there really isn’t long to wait before the SE will be available to the mass market.

    The 16GB iPhone SE will cost £359 and the 64GB iPhone will be available for £439

  4. Anagram Competition T&Cs

    We’re giving away 5 iPhone docking cradles. One a day for the next 5 days! To win all you need to do is head over to www.facebook.com/ProtectYourBubble and comment on the pinned post with the name of the gadget we’ve scrambled! Good luck!

     

    Facebook iPhone bundle competition

    Terms and Conditions

     

     

    Eligibility

    1. The promotion is open to residents of Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), Isle of Man and Channel Islands only, excluding employees of the Assurant Direct Limited (the “Promoter”) and their immediate families, agencies of the Promoter, and anyone else professionally connected with this promotion.

    2. This promotion is only open to individuals aged 18 years or over on date of promotion entry.

    3. The promotion begins at 10.00 on 14th March 2016 and closes on the 18th March 2016 British Daylight Saving Time (DST). Any entry received after the closing date and time will not be valid. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt.

    4. Entrants must have access to the internet, an email address and a Facebook account

    5. Entry is free and no purchase is necessary to enter this promotion. A maximum of one entry per day is allowed and a maximum of one prize may be won per household per day.

     

    How to Enter

    To enter this promotion, visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ProtectYourBubble, and like the post that includes the hashtag #PYBanagrams and reply with the name of the correct gadget that has had it’s letters scrambled

    Liking of any other post during the date range specified above that does not count as an entry

    Entrants must not attempt to enter the promotion using multiple accounts and entrants found to be doing so will be ineligible to participate in the promotion.

    The Prize

    1. There is one winner daily. The prize is 1 ultimate iPhone bundle for the iPhone 6/6S.
    2. The prize is not transferable, cannot be exchanged and has no cash value. It cannot be redeemed by the winner for cash or any other prize. The prize is awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

     

     

    Winner Selection and Notification

    1. The winner will be randomly selected on 21st March 2016 by the Promoter from all of the valid entries submitted during the promotional period in accordance with these terms and conditions.
    2. The Promoter will contact the winners on the 21st March via private message on Facebook.  In all matters, the random selection made by the Promoter shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.
    3. The winner is required to respond to the Facebook private message notification within 48 hours in order to claim the prize. Failure to do so will result in the prize being forfeited and another winner will be selected.
    4. The Promoter reserves the right to ask for evidence of identity and address of the prize winner.
    5. By entering this promotion, entrants will be deemed to have accepted and agreed to be bound by these terms and conditions.
    6. Losing entries will not receive any notification.

     

    General

     

    1. The Facebook page, name and county of residence of the prize winner will be available upon request by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to; Word Jumbler Competition, Protect Your Bubble, Assurant House, 6-12 Victoria Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1EN after 24th March 2016
    2. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for winner’s failure or inability to attend the dinner, or cancellation by the organisers of the event.
    3. In the event of unforeseen circumstances the Promoter reserves the right to provide alternative prizes of equal or greater value.
    4. By entering, entrants and winners (as applicable) grant Promoter, and their licensees, successors and assigns, the assignable, perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, irrevocable, non-exclusive license to publish, reproduce, prepare derivative works of, distribute, display, exhibit, transmit, broadcast, televise, digitize, otherwise use, and permit others to use their entry for this Promotion, including the names and likenesses of any persons embodied therein, in any manner, form, or format now or hereinafter created, including on the Internet, and on Promoter social media sites, and for any purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising or promotion of Promoter, all without further consent from or notice or payment to entrant or winner(s). Promoter is under no obligation to make use of the rights granted herein.
    5. The Promoter and its agents will only use personal information supplied by entrants to this promotion for the purposes of administering this promotion, unless consent is received to use such information for any other purpose. All personal data shared by the entrants will be collected in accordance with Promoter’s privacy policy available at http://uk.protectyourbubble.com/legal-privacy/privacy-policy.html
    6. 24. Nothing in these terms shall exclude the liability of the Promoter for death, personal injury, fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation as a result of its negligence or any other liability which may not be excluded by law. The Promoter excludes all other liability to the extent permitted by law and in particular without limitation to the foregoing, the Promoter shall not be liable for any indirect, special or consequential loss nor for loss arising out of matters outside of its control nor for entries lost, delayed or undelivered, nor any liability for technical errors or communication failures in networks and/or internet access.
    7. By participating, each entrant agrees to release, indemnify, discharge and hold harmless Promoter and Facebook, Inc., and each of their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and the respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents and representatives of the forgoing (collectively, “Released Parties”) from any and all injuries, liability, losses and damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from entrant’s participation in the Promotion or any Promotion -related activity, the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize and/or Promoter’s use of the rights granted herein.
    8. The Promoter reserves the right at any time to modify, discontinue (temporary or permanently) this promotion with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its control (including in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud). The decision of the Promoter in all matters under its control is final and binding.
    9. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to Promoter and not to Facebook. Entrants to this promotion hereby release Facebook from any claim or liability suffered in connection with this promotion
    10. This promotion and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

    Promoter – Assurant Direct Limited trading as Protect your bubble, whose registered office is Assurant House, 6-12 Victoria Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1EN and whose registered number is 5399683.

     

     

  5. INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY – WHAT IT MEANS TO ME

    INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY – WHAT IT MEANS TO ME

    When I was younger, probably around the age of 18 my grandmother, who I was extremely close to and had a lot of respect for, asked me if I had voted in the General Election. In hindsight answering no, because all the political parties seemed the same and were a bit boring, was probably not the best response. What promptly followed was a large degree of outrage from said non-plussed granny, and a lecture on how women a few decades earlier had fought (literally) to give me the right to have a say in my future. I never made that mistake again, and proudly do register my vote every time there is a General Election.

    On a wider, day-to-day note, I have a lot to thank those early foot soldiers of the feminist movement for. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t consider myself a feminist (I think there is still a lot to be said for men being chivalrous), but I must thank those ladies for the opportunities that they helped open for me.  If they hadn’t have fought the good fight perhaps my life would be very different today. I am very proud of the career I have forged myself, happy for the opportunities that I have been given, passionate about my role as wife and mother in my wonderful family unit. I only hope that my 3 year old little girl (and one more on the way) grow up to see that they can be whatever they want to be as long as they work hard for it, and retain their integrity.

    We are very lucky in the United Kingdom – women largely have the ability to choose what they want in life – be it children, a career, to be the eternally single party girl around town. Sure, there’s always room for more equality in terms of pay, progression, etc (not hinting to my bosses of course J), but generally speaking we have freedom. There are still areas in the world where sadly women do not have this basic human right and that is why it’s important we celebrate the progress that has been made, but also to continue to push for greater equality for others globally. On that final note, if you haven’t already and you want to make your voice heard, you can make your pledge for parity at http://www.internationalwomensday.com/Pledge

    Helen Day

    Head of Customer Service Management

Prices may change. Protect Your Bubble is a trading name of Assurant Direct Limited, a company registered in England and Wales (registration company number 5399683). Assurant Direct Limited is an Appointed Representative of Lifestyle Services Group Limited. Lifestyle Services Group Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 315245. You can check this on the Financial Services Register at http://www.fca.org.uk/ or by calling 0800 111 6768.

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